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TI8 team preview: Fnatic, still chasing the SEA dream

TI8 team preview: Fnatic, still chasing the SEA dream

TI8 team

This is the latest in a series of articles profiling the 18 teams attending The International 8, which kicks off on Aug. 15.

Eluded by victory

Ever since it jumped into Dota 2 in 2011 Fnatic has been a mainstay of the scene. Although its initial Serbian squad did not get off to any sort of start, the organization didn’t have to wait long before it first tasted success.

Signing its own former Heroes of Newerth roster to compete in Dota 2, the team captured its first gold medal at a premier event through the Thor Open in December 2012—nine months after parting ways with the first lineup.

This European roster, composed of familiar names like Johan “n0tail” Sundstein, Tal “Fly” Aizik, and Adrian “Era” Kryeziu, would stay with the organization for two years. Although both The International 3 and 4 did not bear first place fruit for them, they were still able to go toe-to-toe with some highly skilled teams at the time.

Unfortunately, the only gold medal they earned in their final year was at the XMG Captains Draft Invitational—which was hardly a proper gauge of a team’s competitiveness due to it being held under a non-standard game mode.

Photo via StarLadder

After the European lineup left, then came the all-Malaysian squad in 2015, led by none other than Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung. This new roster once again failed to bring significant success to the organization, bombing straight out of TI5 that year in the bottom four spots.

The rise, the fall…

Their fortunes did, however, turn around in 2016, after signing rising stars Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng and Djardel Jicko “DJ” Mampusti. Both players brought an extreme amount of talent to the group, allowing them to reach fourth place at TI6—a massive improvement over their result from the previous year. Still, in spite of such a respectable finish on Dota 2’s grandest stage, they didn’t win a single premier event that year either.

Photo via StarLadder

The winds of change blew their way once more in 2017, this time bringing on Kim “QO” Yeon-seob and Kim “Febby” Yong-min. This particular roster performed even worse than the one that participated at TI6, though, hitting rock bottom when they failed to advance to the main event at TI7. continue reading 

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